Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nevada
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 26, 2016
Reno Man Convicted Of Kidnapping And Sex Trafficking Charges
RENO, Nev. – A Reno man was convicted by a federal jury on Thursday, Feb. 25, of kidnapping a 15-year-old boy and girl in California and transporting them to Reno with the intent that the girl engage in illegal sexual activity, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada.
“Investigating persons who prey on minors, elderly, and other vulnerable victims, is a top priority of the Justice Department and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nevada,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “We have dedicated more resources than ever to catching and prosecuting these predators, and are working with local, state and federal partners to make sure they face the criminal justice system.”
John Thomas Abrams, aka Buck, aka David George Garnett, aka John McDonald, aka David Blackwell, 50, was convicted of two counts of kidnapping and one count of transportation of a minor for illegal sexual activity. Abrams faces a minimum of 20 years in prison on the kidnapping charges, a minimum of 10 years in prison on the transportation charge, and fines of up to $250,000 on each count. Abrams is in custody and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 13, at 10:00 a.m.
According to the court records and evidence introduced at trial, between about July 12 and July 22, 2012, Abrams kidnapped the girl and the boy in the Sacramento, Calif. area, and held them for ransom, reward, and otherwise. Abrams then transported them to Reno, Nev. with the intent that the girl engage in illegal sexual activity.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI in Sacramento and Las Vegas and the Sacramento Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Carla Higginbotham and Sue Fahami.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals, federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”